I suppose I'm a free agent again. After a year and half with The Penalty Flag, I decided the income was not worth the effort and I quit. I did learn a lot and established myself as a performer. I went from grunt-writer to editor and leader of two divisions.
But things that keep me from my family must pay me money. That's Rule Number One.
After a few months off, I joined RantSports. Instantly, I could tell they were a more professional operation. They know how they want things done, have greater organization and deliver a tighter product.
Their required quota was tough, though. In August, it went from four pieces a week to seven. It's hard pumping out that much quality, unless the money is right.
I toiled for about two months for ad revenue alone, unaware how much that would be. Then I found out. I stopped working almost immediately.
Rule Number One.
Outside of football, business is good. I'm writing for Bright Hub, College Factual and Writer Access. I'm building relationships with other sources.
I just started working four days a week rather than five and am replacing the income with writing. That's a win in my book.
Still, I'd love to be writing about football for someone other than myself. I won't do it for cheap. I'm not looking for an internship. I won't do it if it takes the fun out of the game.
But I will do it for you. Without further screwing around, here's this week's Creeper Report:
#1 Still Undefeated
I actually had a tie in Andy's league. If New York got the Percy Harvin call right, I'd have lost. Crazy how much man-power and technology missed that walk-on-the-chalk. I think I know where the Ray Rice elevator tape ended up.
The combination of LeSean McCoy and Darren Sproles came up big for me in Nate's league, helping me sting Nate himself. I can't remember starting two running backs on the same team. I certainly don't recall it working.
Russell Wilson didn't win it for me in three of my four leagues, but he didn't lose it either. If 202 yards and a pair of scores with no turnovers is a bad game, I'll take the floor everyday. But I can't wait for some ceiling time.
#2 How Do You Beat Your Kids?
As of this writing, it seems like the Minnesota Vikings are starting to do the right thing. They waited until the whole world and their sponsors turned their backs. The sun released a statement that it wouldn't shine on Minnesota if Adrian Peterson was in uniform.
In general, I agree that the league and teams should not act until the court system has done its job. Innocent people, especially wealthy and popular ones, get accused of things that aren't true or aren't as big as they once appeared.
But Mr. Peterson, did you hit your kid with a stick?
Did you leave welts and cuts all over his legs, back and buttocks?
Were there defensive wounds on his hands?
And this child was fourteen years old?
No. He was four.
I'm sorry. My mistake. Four years old. You're fired, Mr. Peterson.
We don't need to wait for the courts to decide anything about motive or intention. Peterson has admitted to doing it. It's his parenting style. He learned it from his father.
Cycle of abuse.
His employer needs to decide whether to stand with him or against him.
You might lose some football games without him. You might lose your fans with him. You might be surprised how the other players on the team step up.
#3 Everybody Hurts Sometime
Some players missed time for reasons not related to domestic violence. They were injured by football players. How should the fantasy football world react?
Robert Griffin III will be out for much of the season, at least. That opens the door for Kirk Cousins, who did a solid job in relief. This week he plays at Philadelphia. If the pattern holds, the Eagles will play bad in the first half and good in the second. Cousins could put up a couple hundred and a couple scores.
Speaking of Philly and DC, DeSean Jackson could make his return if his shoulder is okay. It seems he sprained his AC joint. I think will and desire should put him in pads. Hell hath no fury like a DeSean scorned. I have to decide whether to play him, Steven Jackson, Steve Smith, Knile Davis, Stevan Ridley or Antonio Gates at W/R/T. Let me think about that.
AJ Green could suit up against Tennessee this week, although the wise decision could be to wait until after the Week 4 bye. Mohamed Sanu gains value. Giovani Bernard turned into the most valuable receiver against Atlanta. The Bengals chose to run in Green's absence and Jeremy Hill put up solid numbers. He's worth an add, too.
With Jamaal Charles out at least a few weeks, you already missed the Knile Davis grab. Sorry I didn't get this out Monday night. I was writing about the top marketing colleges in the country.
Too bad I didn't go to one. I might have sold an ebook this year.
Carson Palmer is somewhere between day-to-day and week-to-week, making Larry Fitzgerald into a flex and Michael Floyd into a head-scratcher.
#4 At Least San Francisco's Loss was Uglier
The Seattle Seahawks got beat. The San Diego Chargers had a great game plan and executed. They held the ball for 42 minutes, much like they did when they beat Denver last December, keeping Seattle from getting into any offensive rhythm.
Nice to see Russell Wilson getting the Peyton Manning treatment. Keep him bored and on the sideline.
Seattle's only turnover was Percy Harvin's fumbled kickoff return. They didn't lose as much as they got beat. Hats off the Philip Rivers and his crew.
The 49ers, however, blew it. Colin Kaepernick turned the ball over four times. The defense gave up 21 fourth quarter points. Kaep got a fifteen yard flag for the brand-new abusive language penalty. "He knows what he said," stated the officials, although Kaep denies speaking. He also had a delay of game in the final two minutes.
I'm not sick about the Seattle loss. That will motivate the team against Denver. 49er fans should be sick and frightened of the 2-0 Cardinals that won without Carson Palmer.
#5 Defenses I Like
Houston is for real again. JJ Watt and ten of me might do well against the Giants. If they're still out there, get them.
Cleveland is not as lousy as I thought and the Jets are not as good as you think. Geno Smith could prove me wrong, but he was consistently inconsistent last year. He's due for a flop.
Screw whatever power rankings put the 49ers in the top 10. Take the Cardinals against them this week. Kaep will fold.
The biggest hunch: if you're feeling crazy, believe the Vikings will huddle against the storm and rally together, putting up a gutsy show against the Saints. They'll lose, but not without getting some turnovers and sacks. Maybe they'll block a kick or score a non-offensive touchdown. Watch for it.
#6 The Restaurant Business is on its Head
Anyone who knows the restaurant business understands it's one of the rare industries where a promotion is a demotion.
In the world of gratuity, the hourly supervisor or salaried manager makes less money than the servers and bartenders they oversee. This is most true in Washington, with the country's highest minimum wage.
For the half year I had to be a supervisor, I estimated I could make more money getting ice and emptying trash for the bartenders.
Therefore I've avoided elevation from the front lines for most of my 20+ years. This year, I realized another truth:
Full-time status is inferior to part-time.
Benefits? Medical insurance through work is costly. Dental insurance is cheap anyway. My main benefit is Paid Time Off. For tip-earners, that equates to minimum wage hours. I accrue less than $100 worth per month.
The trouble is, full-time status means they can schedule me whenever they want. Typically, they put me on the best night shifts. But they may throw me in the occasional Sunday brunch or mid-week lunch. Not wanting to put me into overtime, this costs me a prime-time night shift.
In other words, less money for me. Working Tuesday lunch instead of Tuesday dinner equals all the PTO I'd earn all month.
If I'm part-time, I can tell them when I can't work. As of September 1, I'm working only the four nights I choose so I have time to free-lance.
I make more money working part-time. Your job is not this weird.
#7 Other Pickups
This is a fantasy football column.
Ahmad Bradshaw will succeed with or without Trent Richardson touching the ball.
Bobby Rainey's getting the ball in Doug Martin's absence. Atlanta's a good matchup. See if Martin is an O, D or Q.
Niles Paul has a good thing going with Kirk Cousins already.
Owen Daniels is coming back to life after coming to Baltimore with Gary Kubiak.
#8 At Least He Didn't Use a Stick
Suddenly, there's little Ray Rice talk.
Way to make Ray look good, Adrian.
It was despicable. No man should ever deal with a woman with a fist. That doesn't mean my irreverent ass can't take a few swings.
He didn't use a stick or stuff leaves in anyone's mouth. He did it in front of cameras so at least there's little question about what happened. At least she was an adult. She was old enough to attend kindergarten, even. Their argument was presumably not over a video game. He didn't outweigh her by 180 pounds.
Peterson leapfrogged Rice's villainy.
In lighter news (aka not involving women or children getting beaten) Monarch butterflies have begun their annual 3000 mile migration south to the tropical jungles of Mexico.
Lets close our eyes and float away on diaphanous wings, riding perfumed thermals to sun-drenched paradise. Lets spend the winter licking the nectar from flowers and mating.
Scientists estimate 90% of the Monarch population has disappeared over the last 20 years because of dwindling food supply and environmental pollution.
Pop goes the bubble.
#10 The Ocsuro Corner is Still Dark
Forgive me for not posting about cigar deals very often. Forgive me even more for not tweeting about a deal that found me last week.
Cigars International put a bunch of good things on sale for $2 each. I grabbed some 5 Vegas Series A and rediscovered another deal. Look for the coupon code and you'll get a 10 cigar sampler for $8 with any CI purchase. I grabbed the sampler over a year ago. I liked some. I didn't like others. This time, they're all different and look even better.
So in time for my 40th birthday, I'm getting 23 cigars for under $45. I'll take it.
Speaking of the birthday, I decided with my freelance income I finally earned my 86 Logo tattoo.
Yeah, you might see a picture of that soon.
Good luck and happy creepings.